Guard Your Tongue

How many times have our big mouths gotten us in trouble? James tells us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak” (1:19), and in this counsel he is only repeating what Solomon had said some nine hundred years earlier: “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 29:10); “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19); “He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding” (Proverbs 27:17); “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind” (Proverbs 18:2). And so David’s prayer in Psalm 141:3 (“Set a guard, O Yahweh, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my heart.”) is seen to be not merely a prayer to keep us from speaking evil things, but in some circumstance even to keep us from speaking at all.

SDG,
Ezra

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